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Cassoulet of Sausages

  • SERVINGS: 4
  • MAKE-AHEAD
  1. 1 tablespoon pure olive oil
  2. 1/4 cup water
  3. 4 sweet Italian-style sausages (3/4 pound)
  4. 1 onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  5. 5 scallions, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  6. 2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced (about 2 teaspoons)
  7. 2 cans white kidney beans
  8. 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
  9. 1/8 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  10. 1/2 pound kielbasa sausage, peeled if the skin is tough, and cut into 4 pieces
  11. 1/2 pound Canadian bacon, cut into 4 pieces
  12. 3 bread slices
  13. 2 tablespoons safflower or corn oil
  1. Pour the olive oil and the water into a large saucepan. Add the Italian sausages and cook over medium to high heat for about 10 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally to roll the sausages over so they cook on all sides.
  2. When most of the moisture has evaporated and the sausages are browning, add the onion, scallions, and garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Then add the beans with their liquid and the herbes de Provence, Tabasco, kielbasa and Canadian bacon. Cover and bring to a boil. Cook for 15 minutes. Set aside off the heat.
  3. Meanwhile, process the bread in a food processor to produce 1 1/2 cups of crumbs. Lightly toss the bread crumbs with the corn oil.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400°. Divide the Italian sausage, kielbasa and Canadian bacon among four large (2 1/2 cup) ovenproof soup bowls. Cover with the beans and juice, filling the bowls to within 3/4 inch of the rims. (Make sure the beans are submerged in liquid; add water or chicken stock if necessary to make the mixture slightly "soupy," because it tends to dry out in the oven.) Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the beans. Arrange the bowls on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, or until the cassoulet is bubbling and very hot. If you want the crumbs a little browner, turn on the broiler and broil until just browned.
Make Ahead The cassoulet can be made ahead and refrigerated. Bake it for approximately 40 minutes, and then finish it under the broiler, if desired. Leftover roast pork, veal, or lamb can be used in place of the sausages. Notes (This recipe appears in Jacques Pépin's The Short-Cut Cook, published in paperback in 2001 by William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.